Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Environmental Impact of Glitter

“Glitter seems like harmless fun, but its environmental impact has led some scientists to call for it to be banned.”

Most people “don’t hate the shimmery stuff as a matter of taste or even because of the way it permanently embeds itself on all possible surfaces, infiltrating your life and affecting your sanity. 

Environmental scientists point out that banning glitter is an important step in protecting the future of the world’s oceans and aquatic life.”
“Glitter is made up of hundreds, even thousands or tens of thousands, of tiny pieces of various materials. Some common glitter materials include copolymer plastics, aluminum foil, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides.”

“Most glitter, however, is made from plastic, and the small size of its particles makes it a potential ecological hazard, particularly in the oceans.

Microplastics are fragments of plastic less than 5 millimeters in length. Their size makes them an appealing, although dangerous, food item for many animals” and sea creatures.” Some who eat it will choose it over their own natural food source.

“While many microplastics result from plastic debris breaking down into ever-smaller pieces, tiny particles called microbeads are manufactured specifically for addition to cosmetic and health products.

Some estimates place the number of microplastics in the world's ocean at up to 51 trillion fragments in total.

Not only have marine animals from plankton to whales been documented as eating plastic, often with fatal consequences, microplastics can end up in humans when we consume seafood. One study reported that plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish.

A ban on microbeads will come into force in the UK in 2018, after scientists and campaigners made the devastating impact clear.”

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